‘Green’-powered driving in spotlight
If Joe Squire can spread his vision to the masses, area roads and highways are going to get a whole lot less noisy.
The regional business development manager for Sun Country Highway, based in Vancouver, was in town last Wednesday, along with associates Bonnie Bieber and Emily Williams, as part of the trio’s promotion of “The E-Mazing Race,” which is winding its way from its starting point in Seattle on Sept. 3 to its planned conclusion Sept. 21 in Summerside, P.E.I.
The vehicles start up with no engine noise and travel with minimal noise output.
Squire said the event showcases an example of cleaner, quieter transportation that he hopes one day will be the rule rather than the exception among automobile buyers.
“We want to get the word out that there is already present an infrastructure for the world’s most powerful Level 2 charger and it’s all free for consumers to use,” noted Squire.
“We’re raising awareness everywhere we’ve travelled across the country, and promoting the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of using this kind of transportation,” he added.
Squire said the reaction the tour has received across the country has been similar.
“Certainly there are a lot of surprised faces, a lot of enthusiasm, a lot of curiosity, and a lot of questions,” he remarked.
Sun Country Highway is one of several companies which sells chargers to different businesses so they can act as charging stations.
“The difference between ours and our competitors is that we sell ours at one-third the price they do and ours generate three times the power,” Squire claimed.
One of the devices was installed at La Place Rendez-Vous here last December, which owner Paul Noonan said makes it the only one of its kind between Kenora and Thunder Bay.
“It cost between $1,500-$2,000 for us to install the charger and have our electrical system run to it,” he noted.
“We’ve had three or four other people use it so far, other than the people involved with the race.
“We realize the idea is in its infancy but it’s got to start somewhere,” Noonan reasoned.
“We’re supportive of what they’re trying to do,” he added. “We’re hoping, in the long run, it will pay off for us as more and more people get these vehicles and stay with us and dine at our hotel while they’re here recharging.”
Squire said while each of the businesses they have sold chargers to have the option to sell the electricity to the consumers using it for their vehicles, none of them have elected to do so at this point.
“The cost is so minimal for a business,” he stressed. “It costs $1 of power to a business for a one-hour fill of one of our vans, and $3 for a three-hour fill on one of our pickup trucks.
“It gives those companies who purchase a charger the chance to show leadership in the community and show a commitment to sustainable business practices,” Squire added.
“And they can also show their corporate and social responsibility, and that they’re not just there to make money but to do the right thing.”
Squire said “The E-Mazing Race” also is being documented thoroughly as the event tries to earn its place in the ultimate pantheon of great achievements.
“We are actually going for a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records for the world’s longest trip in an electric vehicle on multiple charges,” he noted.
“We kind of already did it when we went from Newfoundland and Labrador to Victoria last year, but you have to record the trip properly to qualify for Guinness,” Squire explained.
“As far as we know, nobody else has even attempted to achieve such a record.”
For more information on “The E-Mazing Race,” visit www.suncountryhighway.ca